A Jedburgh family’s bid to get their missing dogs back went nationwide at the weekend as scores of well-wishers turned out to show their support.
Edward Bell and wife Georgie are offering a £5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of their border terrier bitches Ruby and Beetle, feared to have been snatched during a festive hunt on the Lothian Estate at Jedburgh on Friday, December 28.
The disappearance of Ruby, five, and Beetle, two, has devastated the couple and their three children – Tom, 15, Felicity, 14, and Frances, 12, of Woodside Gamekeeper’s House.
The family have been getting support from throughout the country and a Facebook group dedicated to their quest now has more than 7,000 members.
Many of those supporters gathered at Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland on Sunday, March 10, to keep the plight of the missing dogs in the spotlight ahead of the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance’s third dog theft awareness day this Thursday, March 14.
Georgie, 45, said: “The event was organised in support of our situation by people we have never met but who have become united for one thing – finding Ruby and Beetle.
“We had so much fun meeting and greeting lots of different people, some having travelled three hours to join us on Bamburgh Beach.
“We chose that venue to cross the border from Scotland into England as we have found the Scottish border has caused us no end of difficulties in our search.
“I’m sure I speak for everyone who joined us down there when I say it was a huge success. We all chatted, took photos and walked our dogs along the beautiful Northumberland coastline.
“There were balls being thrown in all directions and lots of different breeds of dogs enjoying meeting new doggy friends and playing in the sand.”
Despite a lack of response so far to their appeal, Georgie is determined to continue with her search, saying: “The Facebook group helped raise a huge amount of money to hopefully enable us to buy back our own dogs, but unfortunately whoever has them, took them or bought them haven’t come forward.
“We would love our story to reach every corner of the country. For the sake of myself, my family and especially my children, I need to find these two little dogs.
“We have a young family who were extremely upset by this callous, unthinkable act.
“To have your family pet stolen is the worst thing ever to endure. The not knowing is the hardest thing you go through.
“Unless you’ve actually been in the situation you will never know how it feels, and unfortunately we have had double the heartache of having both our dogs stolen.
“Dog theft is becoming a widespread problem, and we are all sitting targets.
“Nothing seems to be done about it. Dogs are being stolen to order as there is obviously a market for these stolen animals. They can’t just disappear.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 07885 712165 or 07989 513946.